ARC Review: Circe by Madeline Miller

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe has neither the look nor the voice of divinity, and is scorned and rejected by her kin. Increasingly isolated, she turns to mortals for companionship, leading her to discover a power forbidden to the gods: witchcraft.

When love drives Circe to cast a dark spell, wrathful Zeus banishes her to the remote island of Aiaia. There she learns to harness her occult craft, drawing strength from nature. But she will not always be alone; many are destined to pass through Circe’s place of exile, entwining their fates with hers. The messenger god, Hermes. The craftsman, Daedalus. A ship bearing a golden fleece. And wily Odysseus, on his epic voyage home.

There is danger for a solitary woman in this world, and Circe’s independence draws the wrath of men and gods alike. To protect what she holds dear, Circe must decide whether she belongs with the deities she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

Disclaimer: I was provided with an ARC by Bloomsbury India in exchange for an honest review. However, all the thoughts, feelings and opinions expressed in this review are my own. 

“Witches are not so delicate”  

Okay; this has to be hands down, my top favourite of 2018 till date (and pretty much will be even at the end of the year!) – I read Song of Achilles way before I started blogging or even recording my reviews; but I do remember that while I was enchanted with the writing style of Madeline Miller; it didn’t awe me so much as get me interested in Greek mythology!  

But the blurb of Circe caught my eye – or should I say my feminist needs of the hour did; to read about a mythological woman; who overcomes the egos and manipulations of the Gods in her life to become the strong witch she is supposed to be! And when I started the book; I did not look up from the book until the book and Circe, obliterated me.  

CIRCE reads like a part Fictional and Part Greek Soap Opera Drama about a woman’s life –  a life that started with the way love, egos and manipulations of influenced the fragile heart of this young girl and shape her to be the hardened yet strong woman that she turns out to be.  

This book reads like a drama; but a drama that hurts your heart; pricks your soul in ways that makes the reader forget that they are reading a book about a mythological woman – every word, every situation that Circe goes through seems like a mirror being held up to today’s experience of women and it will honestly kill you.  

The plot moved seamlessly from the broader spectrum of various mythological stories in the background to the narrow spectrum of the Greek world through Circe’s experience.  

Circe, in the end, becomes one powerful witch – but it is not without trials and tribulations; but what makes her to be a relatable character are her flaws and her weakness; that we get to experience her journey from the naïve girl who believed that the world around her might have been grey, yet still has a foundation of love to the woman who weaves her vengeance with her disenchantment of her lies of others, by becoming the strong, tough woman who battles continuously with her compassion; and ends up even going into the promise of love with her eyes open.  

There is a gratification to be found that she triumphs over those who had bullied, lied and belittled her, as she slowly but surely claws her way out an identity for herself.  

Circe, in the end, is those one of kind books that is brilliantly written, a thought provoking story about a mythological woman, whose trials and tribulations seem quite similar to what women face even in today’s world; yet retains the soul of being a compassionate human being (yes, I know, she is mythological!).  

If you decide to read a book in 2018, ANY BOOK this year; keep this on top of your list! 

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐


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